Continue pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyas: PM

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Dhaka, Mar 28: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday reiterated her call to the international community to continue pressure on the Myanmar government to take back its nationals from Bangladesh.She made the call when Regional Director of WHO-SEARO DrPoonam Khetrapal Singh met her at her official residence Gono Bhaban.

PM’s Press Secretary IhsanulKarim briefed reporters after the meeting.

The premier informed the WHO Regional Director that Bangladesh has given shelter to Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds.

She said the Bangladesh government has completed the biometric registration of the Myanmar’s displaced nationals who have entered Bangladeshfacing atrocities unleashed by the Myanmar forces in Rakhine state.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has given identity cards to Rohingyas so that they could be identified easily and the Myanmar government could take them back.

She said some 28,000 people are working round the clock to manage more than 10 lakh Rohingyas.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh highly appreciated Bangladesh government’s move over the Rohingya issue. “The Bangladesh government is doing a great job,” she said.

She also mentioned that WHO will help Bangladesh provide immunisation and medical services to the Rohingyas.

Expressing her concern over the health condition, sanitation and waterborne diseases of the Rohingyas in the upcoming monsoon, Poonam Khetrapal said it would be a challenging job to tackle those and urged the government to continue its immunisation activities.

She said the huge number of Rohingya refugees, which is more than the total population of Bhutan, is the main problem to manage. “This is a gigantic job,” she added.

Hasina said her government is in touch with five neighbouring countries bordering with Myanmar, including Thailand, China and India, on the issue of Rohingya crisis.

Referring to establishment of community clinics across the country, she said such initiative was a vision of Bangabandhu to reach healthcare services at the doorsteps of rural people.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal highly appreciated leadership of the Prime Minister for her dynamic leadership as well as for Bangladesh’s development, particularly on flood control saying the country is an example in the world on the issue.

She also lauded Bangladesh’s achievement on health and sanitation and said, its achievement in reducing child mortality and maternal mortality rate is commended globally.

At the meeting, the issue of autism also came up for discussion when WHO Regional Director highly praised Prime Minister’s Daughter Saima Wazed Hossain for her role in creating awareness on autism globally.

Dr Poonam said that at present people of South Asia is now know about the autism and aware about it.

Prime Minister’s Daughter and Chairperson of the Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders as well as member of Member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health Saima Wazed Hossain was present during the meeting.